Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Dec. 14:
1. -- U.S. stock futures rose while European shares declined on Thursday as investors adjusted asset prices in markets all over the world amid a spate of central bank decisions and an impending agreement on tax reform from U.S. lawmakers.
A weaker U.S. dollar, which fell following a dovish reaction to the final policy meeting of the year for the Federal Reserve, largely has driven trading in Asia markets overnight and boosted the value of currencies in Europe, lifting the pound past the 1.3430 mark against the greenback and pushing Britain's FTSE 100 benchmark down 18 points ahead of a Bank of England policy meeting on Thursday. The euro also is getting a boost from the weaker dollar ahead of a policy meeting from the European Central Bank.
Stocks in the U.S. on Wednesday, Dec. 13, finished mixed but the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped by 80 points to secure a new record high of 24,585 after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time this year. The S&P 500 fell slightly on Wednesday, while the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.
Aiding gains on Wednesday were reports that said Republicans in the House and Senate have agreed on the terms of a tax bill, setting the stage for a final vote next week on legislation that would cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy and give Donald rump his first major victory in Congress.
For Thursday, the economic calendar in the U.S. includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, Retail Sales for November at 8:30 a.m., and the PMI Composite Flash for December at 9:45 a.m.
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2. -- Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report reached a deal to buy the film and TV businesses of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) - Get Fox Corporation Class A Report in a deal valued at $52.4 billion.
The deal is expected to close by June 30, 2018.
Fox shares rose 2.1% in premarket trading on Thursday to $33.45, whole Disney rose 1% to $108.67.
3. -- The Federal Communications Commission will vote Thursday on a plan to roll back net neutrality rules established under the Obama administration, rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet.
The new proposal, from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, would scrap former Commissioner Tom Wheeler's 2015 Open Internet Order, which contained "bright line" rules that prohibited blocking, throttling or prioritizing some traffic. It would do away with a clause giving the FCC authority over the "general conduct" of service providers that the ISPs say is vague.
The proposal would roll back restrictions that keep broadband providers like Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report , Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report and AT&T Inc. (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report from blocking or collecting tolls from services they don't like and would bar states from imposing their own rules.
World Wide Web inventor and M.I.T. professor Tim Berners-Lee; Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet; Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report co-founder Steve Wozniak and 18 other leading internet figures wrote a letter to chairs and ranking members of House and Senate committees that oversee the FCC this week asking them to put off Thursday's vote.
4. -- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the cryptocurrency bitcoin isn't only speculative, but also is not a stable store of value and not a legal tender.
"Bitcoin at this time plays a very small role in the payment system," Yellen said. "It is not a stable source of value and it does not constitute legal tender. It is a highly speculative asset."
Yellen spoke about the digital currency, which has rallied about $5,000 in the past week, following the announcement on Wednesday that the Fed hiked interest rates for the third time this year.
At last check, bitcoin was trading at $16,696, according to CoinDesk.
5. -- Earnings reports are expected Thursday from Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) - Get Adobe Inc. Report , Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) - Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report , Oracle Corp. (ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report and Jabil Inc. (JBL) - Get Jabil Inc. Report .
This story has been updated with details of the Disney/Fox deal.
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